Reading is awesome, but it takes a lot of time. When I was taking honors and AP English courses in high school, I had to block out time to read. Class time was like a mandatory book club. No matter how sleepy or stressed I was, going to English and analyzing texts for intertextuality or religious symbolism instantly improved my day. I fondly remember reading and annotating Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison on the bus ride home from school, or tearing scenes from Gilgamesh to shreds while searching for archetypes. I also remember the Google searches of shame for the Spark Notes pages.
In elementary school, many of us were absolute bookworms. At night, we'd get tucked into our beds with a book (and maybe a stuffed animal or two, or five, or seventeen). Our family would sign our reading logs, and we'd hand them to our teachers the next morning. Even if you didn't have books at home, having your teacher read to you was just as exciting as watching the television cart get rolled into the room. I can't count on hand how many people have expressed to me their desire to read as much as they used to but claiming they don't have the time.
Whether you're working full-time or your school work has you fully occupied, believe it or not, there is still time that you could be reading. It is very possible to work it into your schedule because chances are you're probably reading anyway.
Thanks to the social media boom and more access to the internet, going online and browsing content has never been easier. Across the major social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter, you are reading constantly. The internet is full of "words, words, words."
It's not that you don't have time to read books, you just don't realize that you're reading something different.
To combat this, I decided to start shutting everything down around 11 o'clock at night. I make myself some chamomile tea, take my vitamins, and I pull out a book. You would be amazed by how quickly you can get through novels and plays just by setting aside 30-60 minutes a night for the purpose of reading literature. I become that elementary school child again, reading books in their bed... except my taste in literature is quite different from when I was younger.
At least for a couple of nights, power down your electronic devices about an hour or two before you go to sleep. Pick up a book you've had sitting around for years, or go to the library and find a title that strikes your interest. It may not be much, but I can promise you'll notice a difference in your nightly routine. You'll sleep better, feel productive AF, and you might gain a new perspective or two based on what you read. It will be just as soothing as it used to be, except this time, there's no reading log (I promise)!